For a wise person, there is no greater joy than that of improving his character traits. When someone reaches this level, he can feel joy even when someone insults him – because he has worked himself free of all animosity and resentment.
Take pleasure every time you: – control yourself from getting angry – are patient with others – overcome your desires – react positively instead of with envy about someone else’s accomplishments.
Sources: see Chazon Ish – Emunah U’bitochon, 4:15; Rabbi Zelig Pliskin’s “Gateway to Happiness,” p.110
Every event and situation in your life is designed as a test of your character. For example, both poverty and wealth are tests. A wealthy person is tempted to become arrogant and forget the Almighty. A poor person, meanwhile, may be tempted to steal or commit fraud. Whether life is going smoothly, or whether it has suffering, it is all part of God’s plan to strengthen our moral character.
This perspective will change our response to any event that occurs in our lives. Knowing that something is a “test of character” will make it easier to past those tests with flying colors!
Today, think of a recent event in which you may have mishandled the situation, or responded inappropriately. Then work through what can you now do to correct that and transform it into a spiritual victory.
Sources: see Rabbi Moshe Chaim Luzzatto – Path of the Just, ch. 1